US Why women in Arizona are sending a state representative pads and tampons

01:36  14 february  2018
01:36  14 february  2018 Source:

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Women have sent Republican state Rep . Thomas "T.J." Shope tampons , pads or money in response to the stalling of HB 2222, which looks to provide female inmates with an unlimited supply of feminine hygiene products.

Women in Arizona are sending pads and tampons to a Republican state lawmaker who stalled a bill to provide free and unlimited feminine hygiene products to female inmates, CNN reported.

Christy Chavis is one of many women mailing pads, tampons or money to state Republican Rep. Thomas © Christy Chavis/Twitter Christy Chavis is one of many women mailing pads, tampons or money to state Republican Rep. Thomas "T.J." Shope.

Women across Arizona are bombarding a Republican representative's office with tampons and pads.


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The #LetItFlow campaign began over the weekend as a direct response to a bill that stalled in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 2222 looks to provide female inmates in Arizona with an unlimited supply of feminine hygiene products at no cost to the inmates. It also looks to appropriate $80,000 from the fiscal year 2019 general fund to the state Department of Corrections for the purchase of these products.

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This would be a dramatic change from the state ’s current policy, in which women inmates are only allowed 12 free pads per month. If tampons are preferred, they must be bought, unlike in other state prisons. Additionally, as Arizona Representative Athena Salman, D-Tempe—who introduced the bill

An Arizona bill that would provide basic dignity for female prisoners moved forward in the state legislature this week. The issue at hand is that incarcerated women are currently only provided 12 free They aren’t provided any tampons . To get more pads or tampons , prisoners have to buy them.

Women are sending the hygiene products, and sometimes money, to Rep. Thomas "T.J." Shope, Republican chairman of the House Rules Committee, who stalled the bill because the DOC is revising its policy. In order for the bill to continue, it must go through the rules committee.

"It just seems cruel and absurd to make women barter and beg and plead for what should be a basic human right, which is access to sanitation and hygiene products," said Christy Chavis of Phoenix who sent $20 on Monday.

"If we continue to pressure Rep. Shope and the legislature, they may think it's a cause worth their time and won't pass the buck to the DOC," Chavis said.

Democratic Rep. Athena Salman introduced the bill and said currently incarcerated women are given 12 pads a month and if they run out they have to buy more themselves.

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PHOENIX - Women are sending tampons and pads to an Arizona representative after he said he would not hear a bill that would provide a free, unlimited supply of feminine hygiene products for female inmates.

Why Women Are Mailing Tampons to the Arizona House of Representatives . So activists are taking matters into their own hands by sending pads , tampons , and cash intended to "We should all be outraged that our state Department of Corrections believes it is acceptable to limit incarcerated

Matthew Specht, House of Representatives Republican Caucus spokesman, said in a statement to CNN the mailed products haven't arrived yet.

"If/when those come in, we're exploring whether they can be donated to the Arizona Department of Corrections," Specht said in an email. "If not, Representative Shope would like to donate them to a women's shelter in his district."

'The basic dignity of being a woman'

During a February 5 committee hearing, Salman and former inmates spoke in support of the bill. Salman said the current distribution of 12 pads a month is unfair because incarcerated women are paid 15 cents an hour, but a 16-pack of pads are $3.20 and a 10-pack of tampons are $2.05 in prisons. Salman told CNN she thinks the bill struck a nerve.

"This issue speaks to the basic dignity of being a woman," she said Tuesday. "By denying women additional pads and no free tampons, that is violating a woman's dignity and that's fundamentally wrong."

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A bill wants the state to give them unlimited access to pads and tampons . Incarcerated women in Arizona receive a restricted supply of sanitary pads per month. A bill was introduced to the House Committee on 7 February by representative Athena Salman who pointed out buying a .99 box of

(Photo by Laura Epstein-Norris). Ready to Fight Back? Sign up for Take Action Now and we’ll send you three meaningful actions every Tuesday. Recently, during a live interview with YouTube star Ingrid Nilsen, President Obama was asked why 40 states impose a sales tax on tampons and sanitary pads .

The bill passed through the all-male Military Veterans and Regulatory Affairs Committee with a 5-4 vote.

"I walked away thinking my male colleagues learned something from the committee," Salman said.

Salman said Shope spoke with the DOC and the bill was stalled because they were revising their policy.

A stalled bill

On Tuesday, Specht said the DOC "will now provide female inmates with sufficient feminine hygiene products."

"In light of the Arizona Department of Correction's decision to revise their administrative policy on feminine hygiene products, HB 2222 would now be redundant and Rep. Shope does not intend to hear it in the House Rules Committee," Specht said.

Neither Shope nor Salman have seen the revisions.

Salman said it's not fair to future female inmates for her bill not to become law because future government administrations can change the rule if needed.

"We haven't seen the policy so it's inappropriate for Rep. Shope to hold the bill without talking to the stakeholders, including the women who were formerly incarcerated and the attorney who is monitoring the women's prison," she said.

"This is so fundamental to the dignity of women, you can't leave this up to chance that future administrations will change this rule back. The women of Arizona deserve for this to be in statute."

Salman said she'll be meeting with the DOC and the governor's office Tuesday. Specht was not aware of any future meetings with Shope, the DOC or the governor's office.

"It is very peculiar that the bill is being stalled by the chairman who is only talking to the governor's agency, the DOC, and not talking to the formerly incarcerated women who lived through this nightmare," she said.

CNN's David Williams and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

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